Twenty thousand dollars. That’s how much the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates the least expensive health insurance plan available under ObamaCare will cost the average family in 2016.
The IRS issued a 73-page final regulation on January 30 to “provide guidance on the liability for the shared responsibility payment for not maintaining minimum essential coverage.” In other words, the agency was telling Americans what insurance they must have in order to avoid paying the penalty for noncompliance with the law — and what that penalty will be if they fail to comply.
Under ObamaCare, individuals not obtaining health coverage through their employers must purchase government-approved insurance on state exchanges. There will be four tiers of coverage: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Bronze is the lowest tier and therefore the least expensive.
Failure to purchase insurance will result in a tax penalty “capped at either the annual average Bronze premium, 2.5 percent of taxable income, or $2,085.00 per family in 2016,” according to CNSNews.com.
Buried in the examples of how to calculate the penalty under different scenarios is this revelation: “The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000.” (The IRS also assumes this is the cost for a family of four.)
The median household income in the United States at the end of 2011 was $50,054 and falling. For a family of five with that income, the cheapest health insurance available under ObamaCare will consume 40 percent of their earnings. The penalty for not having insurance will be far lower, giving these families a major incentive not to buy insurance until they need it — one of the things ObamaCare was supposed to prevent.
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